Country Information Ecuador
In the middle of the world, right on the equator lays the beautiful Ecuador.
Ecuador has four regions, which differentiate so much from each other that it sometimes seems as if they were four different countries; the Amazon (La Amazonía), the Andean Highlands (La Sierra), the Coastal region (La Costa) and the Galapagos Islands (Islas Galápagos).
In addition, Ecuador is one of only seventeen “mega-diverse” countries in the world with a flora and fauna that cannot be found in any other country in the world. Thanks to these unique features, the country offers unique opportunities.
Ecuador is the 8th largest economy in Latin America, and after a period of economic and political instability, the country has regained itself and changed into one of the most stable countries in Latin America.
Ecuador’s political stability has brought steady economic growth (2011, 7.8%; 2012, 5.2%; 2013, 4.6%; 2014, 3.8%), well above the Latin America average and outperforming its neighbouring countries Colombia and Peru. One of the biggest advantages for foreign companies is that the Ecuadorian economy is dollarized (USD – $).
Ecuador’s biggest export product is crude oil, accounting for about 40% of total exports.
The country has a very strong agricultural sector, with a large variety of products, depending on the specific region. Did you know that Ecuador is the biggest producer and exporter of bananas in the world? Other much exported tropical fruits are mangoes, pineapples and avocados.
On the coast you also find an important fishing industry, centered around the city of Manta in northern Ecuador, specialized in shrimp and tuna. And in the Andes cacao, coffee and cut flowers, especially roses, are the most cultivated products. Ecuadorian cacao is considered one of the highest quality cacao in the world.
The Tourism Industry is one of the best growing industries in Ecuador – with of course the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon rainforest as highlights of a tour through Ecuador. The capital Quito and the historic Cuenca are both on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
One of Ecuador’s economic and social priorities is the transformation of its national production matrix. Ecuador has invested very much, and continues to invest heavily, in a large number of public projects such as hydroelectric power stations, roads, schools, universities and hospitals.
It supports foreign investors who do the same, in order to develop a more sustainable economy that is less dependent on oil exports.
The government wants to broaden and transform the economy into a knowledge and innovation based economy. Not just a supplier of raw materials but a provider of value-added products and services. Priority industries for Ecuador are Logistical Services, Renewable Energies, Tourism, Pharmaceuticals, Petrochemicals and Metal industry.
Foreign investments in these sectors can count on a variety of incentives and support from the Ecuadorian government such as tax exemptions, tax reductions and deferral of tax payments, depending on the region and sector of the specific investment. Other interesting industries are Water Management, Oil & gas industry, Nature conservation and the Food & Beverage industry.
Peke van Beek
Country Director Ecuador
The Access Latin America representation in Ecuador has been established by Peke van Beek. Peke lives and works in Ecuador since 2012 and has in a very short time mastered the Ecuadorian culture and doing business in Ecuador.
Peke has a bachelor degree in International Business Administration from the Rotterdam University. As a Trainee in APL, one of the world’s leading container shipping companies, Peke has worked in Rotterdam and Hamburg as a Marketing & Pricing Analyst for the Asia-Europe market.
In Ecuador, Peke has experience with setting up local branch offices and representations for a number of European companies. He is also involved in a landfill biogas project, a collaboration between the Municipality of Cuenca and a Dutch specialist in the field of sustainable energy.
Peke is an expert in bridging the social and cultural differences between Ecuador and Europe, a key factor to success for business in Ecuador.